Portland, Maine is home to almost 400 different restaurants and ranks among the top cities in the US for restaurants and bars per capita. Portland was named “Foodiest Small Town in America” by Bon Apétit Magazine in 2009 and was named “Restaurant City of the Year” in 2018. Great food paired with coastal air make a perfect blend of stylish and casual sophistication, which is what you get dining in Portland.
In Portland you can find microbreweries and brewpubs, the historic Portland Farmers Market (in existence since 1768), high-end restaurants, casual fare and everything in between. The food focal point is based on local, organic, farm-to-table and plant-based foods. Portland has also been noted as one of the most Vegan and Vegetarian-friendly cities in America.
HERE ARE 5 PLACES TO EXPLORE:
J’s Oyster is a family-owned eatery that has been open since 1977, and is still run by the family heirs. Situated steps from the water, J’s is popular with locals and tourists alike, and conversations overheard at the bar span from who is dating who in town to best reductions for short ribs. This no-frills diner serves up local brews (like Allagash Belgian-style beer,Gritty’s Seasonal beer, and Geary’s Seasonal Ale) along with fresh local seafood. Not to miss: The Lobster Stew. www.jsoysterportland.com
A timeless dining experience, Blue Fin has the ambiance of a swanky New England home, creating comfort chic with contemporary fireplaces, book stacks, rustic touches and muted dark colors. Chef Tim Labonte is a Maine native, and the Maine staples are reflected in his menu: fresh lobster rolls, local bread, artisan cheeses, seasonal fruits and vegetables paired with classic cocktails and a pleasant wine list. Enjoy the gorgeous patio seating in the spring and summer months, or grab an after-dinner drink around the coziness of the fire pit. www.bluefinportland.com
Hot Suppa is located in a Victorian building dating back to 1860, and you can’t miss it with the usual long lines outside. Known for their fresh ingredients, this trendy brunch spot only has 10 tables and 5 bar seats, so come early! (No reservations are accepted). Original recipes are made from scratch, inspired from a road trip by the owner-brothers that took them across the US, sampling barbeques, drive-ins, and more. http://hotsuppa.com/
Portland Hunt & Alpine Club
For a chic weekend cocktail, head to the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club on Market Street. An extensive cocktail list greets you, divided up into classics, refreshing, adventurous, and wild card. Guests love the small bites, especially the popcorn with green chile powder, butter and parmesan, daily selection of deviled eggs, and Smorgasbord. www.huntandalpineclub.com
The Holy Donut
A unique take on the classic donut, the Holy Donut’s tasty treats are hand-madewith mashed potatoes and fresh local ingredients. Even though there is usually a line, it moves fast. Favorites include the cheddar bacon, cinnamon sugar, and coconut. https://theholydonut.com/